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The Legend of the Golden Snail
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The Legend of the Golden Snail

5.0 3
by Graeme Base
 

A young boy’s favorite storybook tells of a Golden Snail that lived long ago in the mythical Spiral Isles. When it journeyed through its magical realm, it took on the shape of a fantastical golden sailing ship. One day the ship was captured by a Great Enchanter and put under his spell. After he became bored with the Snail, the Enchanter banished it to the

Overview

A young boy’s favorite storybook tells of a Golden Snail that lived long ago in the mythical Spiral Isles. When it journeyed through its magical realm, it took on the shape of a fantastical golden sailing ship. One day the ship was captured by a Great Enchanter and put under his spell. After he became bored with the Snail, the Enchanter banished it to the Ends of the Earth so no one else could ever sail in it. There it remains until a new master comes to claim it. Could a young boy named Wilbur be the next master?

Featuring Graeme Base’s visually stunning signature art (packed with details, including a hidden “snail and crossbones” to search for in each picture) and a bonus mini book (bound in, nonremovable), The Legend of the Golden Snail is an adventure unlike any other.

F&P Level: N
F&P Genre: F

Praise for The Legend of the Golden Snail

Starred Review: "Base’s art steers the journey, alternating between action scenes and spectacular seascapes." –Publishers Weekly

"This beautiful book is sure to be a hit with the author’s fans and cultivate new ones." –School Library Journal 

"Base’s big, elaborate illustrations teem with lively details." –Booklist

"The book is chock-full of Base’s bold, vibrant images and features fanciful locations. Lots to mull over for future sea adventurers." –Kirkus Reviews 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A fantastical nautical adventure unwinds seamlessly in Base's (Animalia) sumptuous, large-format picture book. Wilbur's favorite storybook--a miniature facsimile of which is attached to the title page--tells of a giant snail transformed into a "golden galleon: a Snailing Ship." Legend has it that a Grand Enchanter put the snail under a spell and later banished it to the Ends of the Earth, where it awaits a new master. Determined to be that person, Wilbur and his cat set sail ("Back in a hundred years," he tells his mother), wearing a piratelike hat bearing a "snail 'n' crossbones," an image Base hides in each painting. Along the way, Wilbur helps eccentric creatures in distress (such as lantern fish with actual light bulbs), who guide him on his perilous mission in return. Characteristically, Base's art steers the journey, alternating between action scenes and spectacular seascapes that reveal Wilbur's tiny vessel alone on a vast ocean, against dazzling skies. With a denouement that's in keeping with Wilbur's oft-demonstrated kindness, this is a beguiling excursion for adventurers of any age. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A tiny book within a book within a small book is attached to the title page. It tells the legend of the Golden Snail, young Wilbur's favorite story. The snail, as a sailing ship, has been banished to the Ends of the Earth until claimed with a magic verse by a new master. Wilbur determines to find it. Wearing the special hat that his mother has made, he and his cat set sail across a wordless double page. Although determined, on his way Wilbur stops to water thirsty butterfly buds, to release a monstrous sea creature from a net, and to sink a crew of earwig pirates instead of joining them. Through the Dreadful Doldrums, the Slithering Sea, and the Maze of Madness, those he has helped help him in return. When he finally finds the Golden Snail, it takes him on a final adventure to a happy ending for them both. The end pages lay out a map of the course Wilbur follows, useful to help follow the story. Wilbur is a stylized but appealing youngster, while his anthropomorphic cat contributes to the action. Base's magical imagination, visualized in detail in mixed media, lures us across the double pages. He ends the book with a puzzle, and directions to his web site where puzzle solvers can "...discover how to bring the Golden Snail magically to life." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Wilbur's favorite story is about a snail that takes the shape of a golden galleon when it sails through the Magical Realm. Captured by the Grand Enchanter, the Golden Snail must obey his commands for 100 years, after which it is banished to the Ends of the Earth until a new master can claim it by reciting the magical spell. Wilbur decides to find the Golden Snail, and, packing an odd assortment of things, he and his faithful cat set off in a small sailboat. The story follows the pattern of many traditional folktales. As Wilbur travels, he comes upon creatures in need of help. Though he feels he is being distracted from his mission, his kind heart prevails, and each of those odd items proves to be just what's needed. His watering can helps quench the thirst of the wilting blossoming butterfly bush, etc. In turn, each rescued creature comes to Wilbur's aid when he is in trouble. With his mission finally accomplished, Wilbur decides it is better to be a Gallant Captain than a Grand Enchanter. While the story is nothing new, the telling is fresh, with many original and inventive touches, and Base's writing is well-paced and lively. The real standout is the artwork: well-composed, large paintings that are rich in detail but never look cluttered. As is usual with Base, there is a game to be played, this time finding a golden snail and crossbones in each picture. This beautiful book is sure to be a hit with the author's fans and cultivate new ones.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Wilbur, a boy transfixed by a story about a lost golden snail, decides to embark on his own search. Legend has it that the snail was captured by a Grand Enchanter, put under a spell and banished to The Ends of the Earth. Onlythe recitation of amagical versewill allow another person to become the Grand Enchanter of the snail. On his journey, Wilbur tries to be a proper Grand Enchanter but ends up doing more helping than conquering, and when he findsthe Golden Snail, he decides to set him free. He ends up stranded himself, butall hisgood karma saves him and he is rewarded. There is an abrupt transition from reality to fantasy, and the epic language could be a stretch for younger readers. Still, the book is chock-full of Base's bold, vibrant images and features fanciful locations like The Maze of Madness and the Spiral Isles. It also includes a mini version of Wilbur's book, a map and a challenge to find the hidden "snail and crossbones" in each picture. Lots to mull over for future sea adventurers. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810989658
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
395,336
Product dimensions:
10.80(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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Meet the Author

Graeme Base’s Animalia received international acclaim when it was first published and has gone on to sell more than two million copies. Among his many beloved and bestselling other books are Enigma, The Eleventh Hour, The Water Hole, and Jungle Drums. Graeme and his family live in Melbourne, Australia. Visit him online at www.graemebase.com.

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Legend of the Golden Snail 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This will be one of the gifts for my daughter when she turns 6 in the next couple weeks. The illustrations are beautiful. Hope she likes it as much as I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We love Graeme Base books. The art illustrations and readibility of stories are great.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Wilbur's favorite book is The Legend of the Golden Snail in which a giant snail from the mythical Spiral Isles became a golden galleon or "Snailing Ship" and was captured by a Grand Enchanter who used the beast to sail the oceans for a hundred years then banished it to the Ends of the Earth. Wilbur asks his mother to read it to him over and over. Then one day, Wilbur decides to find the Golden Snail. His mother makes him a Captain's hat. On his journey, he sails by Butterfly Island and Crab Island and comes across a motley crew of earwig pirates. Wilbur finally reaches the Ends of the Earth, but what he finds there isn't quite what he imagined. It's only a small shell lying on the sand. What will Wilbur do now? And how will he get home? The Legend of the Golden Snail is a delightful and imaginative children's story filled with excitement on the high seas that will appeal to youngsters and their desire for adventure. Author and illustrator Graeme Base, whose widely-acclaimed alphabet picture book Animalia of 1986 has been immensely popular, provides stunning art that includes a hidden "snail and crossbones" symbol to hunt for in every picture. This book is a real keeper!